The Ancient Guide to Modern Life

The Ancient Guide to Modern Life

3.8 (449 ratings by Goodreads)
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Whether political, cultural, or social, there are endless parallels between the ancient and modern worlds. Whether it's the murder of Caesar or the political assassination of Thatcher; the narrative arc of the hit HBO series, The Wire, or that of Oedipus; the popular enthusiasm for the Emperor Titus or President Obama - over and over again we can be seen to be living very much like people did 2,000 or more years ago.

It's time for us to re-examine the past. Our lives are infinitely richer if we take the time to look at what the Greeks and Romans have given us in politics and law, religion and philosophy and education, and to learn how people really lived in Athens, Rome, Sparta and Alexandria. This is a book with a serious point to make but the author isn't just a classicist but a comedian and broadcaster who has made television and radio documentaries about humour, education and Dorothy Parker. This is a book for us all, not for an elite.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 29mm | 455g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1846683238
  • 9781846683237
  • 341,542

Review quote

The Ancient Guide to Modern Life does two things at once: it reminds us (or tells us) about people, events and practices in the Greek and Roman world, and at the same time explores their contemporary echoes and parallels. A classic double-whammy, in fact - and delivered with wonderful energy, wit, zeal and expertise. Irresistible. -- Andrew Motion As wise as Socrates, as witty as Aristophanes, as modern as tomorrow - a classic for our times. -- Gyles Brandreth An entertaining romp through the politics and society of the ancient Romans and Greeks ... so overflowing with lively, pertinent little nuggets it's surprising it doesn't come endorsed by Boris Johnson -- Claire Allfree * Metro * A passionate authority on the classics * The List * Witty ... for a curious-minded someone who likes to get their teeth into some intelligent non-fiction and 'mmmm' appreciatively -- Bea Hodgkin * Easy Living * Brilliant -- Charlotte Higgins * Guardian * Haynes debunks plenty of myths about the ancient world and delivers her history lessons in a light-hearted tone -- Christopher Silvester * Daily Express * A romp through some of the best-known, and some of the most obscure, writers, thoughts and stories of Greece and Rome. Haynes does a good job in debunking myths perpetuated by popular culture ... and also manages to give intelligent overviews of some of the knottier problems that academic scholarship has grappled with ... a passionate defence of Classics -- Jerry Toner * TLS *
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About Natalie Haynes

Natalie Haynes took her Cambridge degree in Classics which she also once taught in public schools. She is an award-winning comic, and a regular panellist on the BBC's Newsnight Review, Saturday Review and Front Row. She has been a guest columnist for The Times since 2006.
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Rating details

449 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 22% (99)
4 45% (201)
3 26% (117)
2 6% (27)
1 1% (5)
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